Originally from Long Beach, California, Paul Verdell moved to Ohio as a teen and received a BFA from Bowling Green State University in December of 2018. Verdell approaches drawing and painting of portraits, landscapes, and still lifes through chosen media of oil paints, oil pastels, and crayons, adding playful and textured mark-making to his two-dimensional works. Influences of Post-Impressionism and Fauvism are communicated through the abandonment of precision, in favor of a more fluid form of figurative work, where unnaturally vibrant colors become flesh and limbs, and figures merge with their surroundings.


For Verdell, it is the presence of the subject during their sitting that guides the conceptual framework and psychology of each piece. Focusing on the face of the figure rather than the full body, Verdell often chooses to fill the frame with the subject, including only abstracted glimpses of situational detail. A corner of a window, a small blanket thrown over furniture, or any number of natural elements peer out from behind the subject, grounding the figure within a landscape. His tendency towards working quickly to capture emotion results in the works presenting varying exposures of paper between the strokes and fields of color. This lightness is a prominent characteristic of his unique style, inspiring a feeling of ephemerality and fleeting exchange, and allowing the viewer space to explore meaning.


Born in Long Beach, CA in 1991
Lives and works in Detroit, MI

Paul Verdell — undefined

Paul Verdell

Slim and Dog (Detail), 2020
Oil pastel on paper
16h x 20w in

I not only want the figure or subject of the work to be noticeable, but everything else around it, as well. Color to me is life, and I want to express that in the works as much as possible.

— Paul Verdell

Selected Work

Paul Verdell — undefined

Paul Verdell

Woman and Pink Robe, 2020
Oil pastel on paper
18h x 24w inches

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